Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The ER Drama

So, as mad as I am right now, I can't help but laugh at this whole situation. The entire thing is utterly ridiculous and insane! But before I really get into that, let me back up a bit and give you some history.

I get depressed sometimes. If that's not clearly evident to you in some of my blog posts, then you need to have your emotions examined.

On Sunday, I was feeling down, as does happen, and I had previously talked to my mother about it. We talked about future steps of going back to my therapist and possibly seeing a psychiatrist to get some medication. Then I went home and continued my evening. Later, I received an email in which I felt personally attacked and humiliated by what was said.

And then I had a nervous breakdown. I do freely admit that I was not in a healthy place. In my expressions of my feelings to a few close friends, I told them I was feeling trapped and that suicide had crossed my mind.

Pause...Just because suicide crosses a persons mind, does not make them suicidal. Let us continue...

As good friends are, they were concerned. I gave them a promise that I wouldn't hurt myself, I wasn't planning on it anyway, so that they would feel better. But that wasn't enough. Not that I'm complaining! I'm grateful for their help. I slept over at a friends' house and the next day called my therapist and a psychiatrist and moved on.

Tuesday was a bit of a rough day. I started crying later that night and felt really alone and unwanted. I texted some of those same close friends expressing my feelings of being alone. One in particular called me and we talked for a few minutes. He encouraged me to call me therapist. So I did. My therapist and I talked for about twenty minutes and I was feeling much relief and was about to hop on my computer to do some therapy homework for my appointment later today.

Little to my knowledge, the friend that I had been talking to right before I called my therapist called the police. There was a loud bang on my door. I ran downstairs to answer it and there were two police officers.

They came in, told me that there had been a report that I wanted to kill myself. I showed them my text messages which clearly showed that the ONLY text that could've been seen as suicidal was sent on Sunday, and not that night that they showed up. They asked me some questions, were pretty polite and understanding, and left.

I went upstairs and began talking to my roommate about what was going on. Then there was another bang on the door. Aaaaand, they were back.

Apparently, when they left and updated my concerned friend, my concerned friend then told them that I had actually sent him a text *that night* saying I was suicidal. Um...ya, not true Mr. Popo. I showed you my texts.

So I began arguing my case. I said I wasn't suicidal and that that certain text was sent Sunday. This is when the police start not liking you. 'Cause they're always right...

They basically forced me to go to the hospital. There were threats made of legal action against me, my concerned friend was in a panic, and so me, being incredibly frustrated but wanting to appease everyone, went to the hospital.

I'd never ridden in a police car before. Wee it was fun! He wasn't that great of a driver, I hope you know. But there were no flashing lights, so I didn't cause too much of a scene as we were careening down a residential road going at least 60 MPH...

I arrived at the hospital. All the paramedics and firefighters were just staring at me. And mmmmm they could stare all they wanted 'cause those boys were SO ridiculously attractive! And this is where my psychology degree kicked in. For better or worse. But I'm thinking worse, but with a light humor added.

They sat me down to take my vitals. I turned to the nurse and asked, "Do you guys use Q15's here?" which is a system we used at the RTC I worked at to monitor patients. Then I was like *Doh!*. My brain was like, "Steven, that makes it sound like you've done this a lot before. That's a bad choice..." I was like, "Oh crap, you're right, shutting up."

They made me take off all my clothes, good thing I had shaved my chest earlier that day so I looked super hot, and I was left to put on that ridiculous hospital gown over nothing but my hot pink American Eagle underwear.

If you're not laughing at this point, I think you're broken. I was giggling inside actually. Which probably did not help my case seeing as I was in the psych ward of a hospital in the suicide watch room!

I sat in that discolored white room for about three hours in total. During that time, everything I did was analyzed by my psychology degree and my brain told me to cut it out. If I picked my nails, I had OCD. If I put my head down, the voices were talking to me. If I scratched my head, another personality was emerging. If I relaxed in the chair, I wasn't taking my situation seriously and must obviously be suicidal. If I tried talking to the nurses, I was schizotypal. He he he, it was very amusing actually. So the moral of the story is, don't major in psychology. It ruins lives! :P

I did the usual hospital stuff: I peed in a cup, answered questionnaires, and gave blood. Have I ever told you how much I hate needles? Ya, it's not quite a phobia but there is definite anxiety around those things.

A doctor came in after I was waiting for about an hour and a half and asked me a few questions. I told him about my previous plans and that I was going in to see a therapist and see a psychiatrist. He was very polite and told me it sounded like things were blown out of proportion and asked me if I needed anything. I was starving. I hadn't eaten since lunch. So he said he'd get me some food.

Liar! The food never came...

But at least by this point the nurses knew I wasn't completely insane. They began talking to me little by little. One even asked what he could get for me. I said food. It never came.

Oh will the lies never end?!

Later on, I had a social worker pop her head in and tell me my mum had called. Crap! Not my mother! She's been through so much in her life I hated to give her more stress. I told the social worker I was worried about her.

And she jumped on that like Oprah on a honey-baked ham! She instantly pulled out her notebook and said, "oh really? Why are you so concerned about your mother? What's going on between you two?" Bother... Apparently I'm not allowed to have human emotions of worry either without them being connected to some Oedipal complex embedded deep in my psyche.

She left. A while later, a different social worker came to talk with me. I wish I could describe how she talked to me. It was as if I was five years old with a hearing problem. You know in movies, if someone doesn't speak English, people around them speak really slowly and loudly? That's what she did. I hid my smile as best I could.

Then my mum walked in. She was perfectly calm. No tears, no puffy eyes, no runny mascara. All was well. My dear mother attested to my mental stability and I was soon discharged.

I laughed the majority of the way home. My mum did too. The whole ordeal sounded like some twisted version of a B-Movie gone horribly wrong.

And so, I'm ok, dear reader. I am annoyed beyond all reason because my entire extended family knows about the situation, but not from my perspective.

So I wrote this post. I hope you have laughed, or at least smile at the irony of placing a psychology major in a psych ward. I took excellent field notes, don't worry. And there were some *very* interesting people I heard/saw while I was there. Let's just leave it at that.

Now, however, I am a bit stuck. I'm sure my bill will be coming in the mail soon. That'll be fun to pay for! And I have my entire extended family to reassure along with some of my friends who still, for some bizarre reason and against all the opinions of the social workers and doctors that I saw, think I want to hurt myself. I don't! Bah!

As for my concerned friend who made all this possible? I'm not sure how to feel about him. I'd like to let you all know though that if a person: 1. Doesn't have a suicide plan, 2. Doesn't have a history of suicide, 3. Has made a promise of safety to friends, 4. Has made immediate steps to remedy the depressed mood, and 5. Is no longer hysterical on the phone, they are most likely not going to attempt suicide.

I am not saying this out of malice or anger. It's more simply out of what you should know. Do I think my friend made the right decision in calling the cops? Hell to the no! *snaps the z* But do I believe he was feeling malicious and wanted to put me through that? Not at all.

He cared for me. A lot, so it seems. Maybe a bit too much ;), I am alive and well with a medical bracelet as a souvenir for my trip to the ER. Hope you enjoyed the read.

P.S. This is not just based on a true story. This actually happened!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Questions without Answers

Maybe writing will help me figure this all out. I honestly don't know.

I came to a decision today. I was planning on locking myself in my room, only venturing out for food and to go to work. Honestly, it would solve a lot of the issues I seem to be having. And I seem to have about the same impact on people's live whether or not I am actually involved in their lives.

It just, doesn't seem to matter. I went to church today and was once again recognized by no one. I've been going to that same ward since March.

I attempted to contact a friend today who seemed to be having some issues. He didn't answer the phone and, in my opinion, quite rudely stated that he was perfectly fine with the things he'd previously complained about. The message I took home from that: bug off.

So why is it that I try so hard? Why do I put myself through so much agony caring what other people think about me? Why do I constantly seek to help people, which a lot of the time ends up blowing up in my face?

I don't know.

I had a wonderful phone call the other day. What was the thing that made it so wonderful? I felt useful and needed. A friend called at the beginning of a mental breakdown. I could barely understand her with how much she was crying. But I instantly turned into my silly, optimistic self, and helped her. I laughed, I commented, I made insightful remarks, and I talked about almost nothing at all. By the end of the conversation, she was feeling much better. I was glad I was of use to someone.

To be trusted in a situation like that is a rare jewel for me. Well, I do encounter it often at work but that's a different scenario. To have a friend who is in a seemingly terrifying situation pick up the phone and call you is a great trust and a privilege. I was honored to be among her chosen friends to accept such a phone call.

So what else happened to me today? I had a talk with my ex again. This wasn't in an effort to be boyfriends again or anything. He saw that I was bothered by something so we went outside and talked. And I quickly shut down. All I can remember is hearing my own thoughts ringing in my ears saying, "this is why you're not good enough...nobody really cares about you...why does he even bother with'll never amount to anything..." and all sorts of other wonderful things.

I've come to the realization that a lot of my behavior is based on feelings of shame. I am ashamed of who I am.

That statement leads to hundreds of automatic assumptions about myself and the world around me. Some of them are: I will never be good enough; I have to be liked by everyone; I must be the best or else people won't like me; I cannot be open about my feelings--they are stupid; my ideas are not of value; I am not of value and finally that the world would be better had I never come into it.

This is a lot to handle. And honestly, I've only told some very few, and select individuals to know about my shame-based beliefs. I am scared to death that sharing these will drive people away. In an effort to own up more to who I am and what I want, I am willing to take that risk, and share these feelings with you.

I'm an expert at pushing people away. Well...maybe just in my head I think I am. I push back when people help, I ignore people, I pick petty fights, and I shut myself down.

But why would I do that when I'm feeling so lonely?

Well, luckily for me, I have a twisted enough mind to think that if people *really* care about me, they'll fight through it all. They'll push and shove and kick and scream and take my pushing back until they reach me. Then, I will know they care.

Holy crap I'm such a freak! What a stupid way to go about living life! Isn't the fix obvious? If you want people to care about you, open up and stop being so dramatic.

Sometimes that's how I talk to myself. I know in my brain what I should do. My therapist and I even talk at great lengths about how much I know. When in therapy, she tells me how calmly I analyze situations and know just the right answer she wants to hear. Problem is that I know the answers, I just have no clue as how to apply them. I am at a total loss.

I seek attention, yet shirk away when it's given. I yearn to be understood but when confronted I shut down. I long for a connection with someone and don't let them in.

And this is all so engrained in me that I feel like there is no way out! Yes, I know what you'll say: "things will get better, keep trying, take one thing at a time, sleep on it" and countless other things people say. The only problem is that those sayings just don't work. I know, hate to burst your bubble.

It's like when my brother died, people would say how sorry they were for me or how they felt for me. Empty words. What I valued the most was when people said, "I have no idea what you're going through. I only wish to help." Wow...thank you for being honest!

Some people are afraid of saying, "I don't feel well-equipped enough to try and give you advice on what you're going through. But I'm here to listen and empathize." Don't sympathize for people, they'll get no comfort from it and probably won't trust you. Empathize. Put yourself in another person's shoes. Sit and feel what they're feeling. A great joy of mine is when people visit me when I'm sad, and just sit and let me take my time in opening up. It feels more real.

So I know all of this. Or at least I think I'm smart and know all of this. Truth is, looking back at what I wrote, I don't sound smart at all. I sound like a total psychopath who might be stepping towards the edge of Borderline Personality Disorder.

It's a bit overwhelming and a bit heartbreaking. I've worked so hard and have so far to go. Ya, I know it's a lifelong process. That doesn't make it any easier for me right now.

So to where do I go? Do I attempt to keep fighting? Do I trust those who have voiced concerns and actually BELIEVE them when they tell me they care about me? Do I keep doing what I'm doing? Do I shut myself off from the world? Do I move and start over completely?

And how do I find myself? How do I change this awful monster that seems to consume my mind? How do I know what I really want? Will there be some satisfaction down the road to let me know that I have been doing well?

Questions I may never find an answer to.